MyerShift

Saturn Astra audio

43 posts in this topic

"Big sounds. If in-car audio is your

thing, look no further. Astra is available with

the latest technology including MP3 CD

playback and an auxiliary-in socket so you

can play tracks direct from your personal

MP3 player. There’s also an optional

system that includes a CD autochanger.

You’ll find all the details on page 56/57."

Okay, okay, so I know this is sorta cheating, but I have downloaded the Vauxhall Astra brochure available through their website, and they DO have an available iPod/MP3 Player connectivity available, and I am sure that one could order this feature as it doesn't concern emissions or crash test regulations and ought to put the complainers to bed.

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Schosche? as of Nov 2008 is making an integrated install / face plate kit to match factory finish to allow seamless install of an aftermarket double din unit. the silvery color and trapezoid shape etc.

Also, there is a Euro company that is making OEM designed aftermarket radios for the VW's and Astra/Vectra, which have full connectivity. At this point i am not sure when those will be available for sale.

Info for both is in the saturnfans astra forum. i'll post the info later when i get the chance.

Edited by regfootball
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europe has more factory radio options than here. if you look i think on blaupunkt website for europe you will see all the OEM opel radios including SD based nav, bluetooth, aux in.

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Also, there are rumors (as reg has probably seen on saturnfans) that the US Astras have the aux-in wiring that goes to the cup holder. People have been able to purchase the part to connect the wiring to a usable jack, and they have figured out what needs to be programmed in the radio, but I haven't read about it all working, yet...

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I must say I would gladly give up a mere cupholder to gain the auxillary input jack.

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Astra only has one cupholder.

Sorry, but GM should have fixed this BEFORE launch. There is no excuse for a vehicle sold in the US market to have less than 1 cupholder per front seat, AND lack an aux input jack in this day and age.

Myers, you might sacrifice your lone cupholder, but I wouldn't. For the money I would have to pay to own an Astra, I should get both...and then some.

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Also, there are rumors (as reg has probably seen on saturnfans) that the US Astras have the aux-in wiring that goes to the cup holder. People have been able to purchase the part to connect the wiring to a usable jack, and they have figured out what needs to be programmed in the radio, but I haven't read about it all working, yet...

from what i've read about that, it's a painful and time consuming practice that may not be perfect in yielding results either.

i would wait to see if those euro aftermarket OEM looking radios will be for sale soon.

basically GM's quick fix to make on star available on the astra was to utilize the aux port on the head unit.

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Astra only has one cupholder.

Sorry, but GM should have fixed this BEFORE launch. There is no excuse for a vehicle sold in the US market to have less than 1 cupholder per front seat, AND lack an aux input jack in this day and age.

Myers, you might sacrifice your lone cupholder, but I wouldn't. For the money I would have to pay to own an Astra, I should get both...and then some.

if people took the time to look, the door pocket on each side in the front could accomodate a can in a crunch.

i agree that the cupholder situation should be fixed. however, the armrest and cupholder debacle has overshadowed the fact that this car drives better than nearly all the competition.

when GM killed the next Ion in favor of rebadging the Euro Astra, they should have spent more on making digital lifestyle and food convenience amenities available. But the car does not deserve to fail in the market like it has because of overblown press.

i've driven these

vw jetta

mazda 3

subaru impeza

cobalt

08 focus (2 weeks!)

suzuki sx4

suzuki forenza

versa

i have not driven the civic or fit but to be honest the civic reviles me with its effed up interior. the fit is cheap feeling on showroom impression and its plastics are terrible. the lancer might be a nice ride but i have not driven it yet. i won't place any bets on hyundais or kias outdriving the astra.

the corolla might be a legit contender but even the buff books are saying it sucks to drive.

here are my comparisons of the above to the astra

vw jetta- more power but coarse engine uses fuel and ride is choppy. great shifter and clutch. feels hefty but in a not that bad way.

mazda 3- based on an old impression, noisy, lacks some powertrain refinement, but comfy inside and well laid out

subaru impeza- grainy coarse engine, repulsive random japanese interior. rubbery/sloppy shifter

cobalt- great engine, good tranny ratios. needs interior refinement. need shorter shifter throws and move it forward.

08 focus (2 weeks!)- very good commuter. but that's about it. lots of user friendly features. quiet. big trunk

suzuki sx4- its a hoot. good shifter clutch and engine. great interior. huge back seat and trunk. needs front seat height adjuster. front window arrangement ruins it to some degree even though its adds some more visibility the a pillars freak you out. feels slightly insubstantial

suzuki forenza- avoid

versa- avoid. clutch felt nice and decent power, but shifter is nothing to write home about and the car feels cheap and tinny.

in my mind depending on how i would feel about the civic, you have to put the astra in the top 3-5 in class. its price is its biggest hurdle and GM is giving some rebates right now. the 138 astra mill is not weak like people think it is (neither is the sx4). if you look at C/D's top gear times for the astra it had some of the best top gear times and the 5-60 time was right there with many of the rest of them, the 0-30 was also. i never felt the mazda was that strong engine wise, neither the subaru. the jetta had guts but revving it didn't feel right. cobalt has the most flexible engine/tranny combo.

the overall feel of the shifter clutch and revviness of the astra engine makes up for some of the power loss in my mind and it gets good real world mpg.

i think the astra's automatic saps a lot of power though. i've test drove one like 5 times now, each time was a stick though. you really love the shifting so much, you can't even think about the automatic. :)

Edited by regfootball
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from what i've read about that, it's a painful and time consuming practice that may not be perfect in yielding results either.

i would wait to see if those euro aftermarket OEM looking radios will be for sale soon.

basically GM's quick fix to make on star available on the astra was to utilize the aux port on the head unit.

That's what I also thought, until I snooped around on saturnfans and saw (can't find the thread now, but I remember linking to it in a past thread here) how OnStar connects to a different place on the head unit. So, the real reason there is no aux port is the cup holder, and possibly not being able to program the NA head units to register things plugged into the aux port (assuming somebody got the adapter etc.).

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if people took the time to look, the door pocket on each side in the front could accomodate a can in a crunch.

i agree that the cupholder situation should be fixed. however, the armrest and cupholder debacle has overshadowed the fact that this car drives better than nearly all the competition.

when GM killed the next Ion in favor of rebadging the Euro Astra, they should have spent more on making digital lifestyle and food convenience amenities available. But the car does not deserve to fail in the market like it has because of overblown press.

I disagree about it being overblown in the press. I wasn't even aware it was missing a second cupholder until I first saw one at the auto show and was excited to check it out because I heard how well it drove. Playing around in the interior, I quickly discovered this missing amenity, and even more quickly decided I was no longer interested in it.

For people who have lived without cupholders, it may not be that big of a deal, but cupholders are pretty important to most buyers. If it took me a matter of less than 2 minutes to discover the Astra's deficiency with no prior knowledge, and for it to irritate me enough that I was no longer interested in it, that says something. There is very little that I consider essential in a car, without which I will not consider it. Armrests, cupholders, ABS, power windows and locks, height-adjustible front seat, and aux power outlets are musts, and a rear armrest and compass, and auto climate control are almost up there. Pretty much everything else goes in the "nice to have" but not necessary category.

Some may find my list fussy, but I have sound reasons for each of those items.

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twin panel sunroof is so available on so many other cars.

rainsense wipers.

stabilitrak.

nice feeling shifter.

customizable audio settings.

decent looking gauges.

superglue and a little tact at cutting up a 5 dollar autozone cupholder will fix the cupholder issue.

yvhv3p.jpg

yvhv3n.jpg

yvhv54.jpg

Edited by regfootball
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hmmmm, looks like NAV, USB, and prob bluetooth too.

problem solved.

astraarmrest.com

problem solved

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astraarmrest.com

problem solved

Cool, so why isn't GM installing this in the factory?

That fixes may be easily available does NOT negate the presence of glaring deficiencies in the product to begin with. Why should a consumer have to go through that hassle with a brand new car for something that every other competitor offers standard, free of charge?

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does that rabbit have a standard armrest? versa? accent? yaris?

yet, it (rabbit) wins a c/d comparo for fuel thrifty cars by having the worst fuel consumption (or close to it).

go down the list, how many subcompacts and compacts have a standard armrest?

FEWER THAN YOU THINK. why does the astra get ragged for it?

Edited by regfootball
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Fascinating..I didn't realize they made cars anymore w/o armrests standard.

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why does the astra get ragged for it?

Because it's priced as a premium product.

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why does the astra get ragged for it?

Because it's priced as a premium product.

And probably because it isn't even optional.

Fascinating..I didn't realize they made cars anymore w/o armrests standard.

It's not just the "econo-boxes," it's a $250 option on the Mini Cooper (non-S).

Edited by AAS
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Because it's priced as a premium product.

a 4 door rabbit costs more than a 4 door astra. and now with incentives in the mix, even more.

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Because it's priced as a premium product.

And probably because it isn't even optional.

It's not just the "econo-boxes," it's a $250 option on the Mini Cooper (non-S).

oh, it's OK for the mini. it's a BMW. it's OK.

a 4 door rabbit is more expensive than a malibu LS these days. the rabbit doesn't have an armrest. who's screwing who?

Edited by regfootball
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oh, it's OK for the mini. it's a BMW. it's OK.

a 4 door rabbit is more expensive than a malibu LS these days. the rabbit doesn't have an armrest. who's screwing who?

The Rabbit has 5 cylinders, though...

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Well, my 2/3-door Golf does NOT have an armrest but DOES have an auxillary jack...

in the glove box.

For me, I'd want to order an Astra without OnStar, with the rear foglamps (they're standard Euro fare anyhow), automatic climate control, and xenon headlamps. Of course, I really would take the 19L CDTi with the 6-speed manual but can't.

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And a better interior, overall.

Funny, on the VW website it states that a front center armrest is standard equipment on both the 2-door and 4-door. It also comes with two cupholders.

http://www.vw.com/rabbit/completespecs/en/us/#/show_all

Isn't that just the damnedest thing?

its 20 grand, over 20 grand with a slushbox. does that even have aluminum wheels? the armrest was not standard in 08.

smoke and mirrors again. don't even try to paint this car as a value proposition when you can go to a GM dealer and buy a new Malibu better equipped right now for less. gets better mpg too.

the 5 cylinder uses gas and is not a paradigm of NVH BTW.

Edited by regfootball
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Fascinating..I didn't realize they made cars anymore w/o armrests standard.

The Cobalt LS and G5 Base models don't come standard with an armrest either.

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its 20 grand, over 20 grand with a slushbox. does that even have aluminum wheels? the armrest was not standard in 08.

VW.com says 15.8k starting price.

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